Vietnam’s HCM City finds hard to hire Philippine teachers of English

VietNamNet Bridge – Despite being highly appreciated, HCM City is facing many difficulties in realizing its plan to hire Filipino teachers of English. 

A good plan

Most schools in HCM City applauded the municipal Department of Education and Training's plan to hire Filipino teachers and upgrade study facilities for high school and vocational students for the 2011-2020 periods.

In recent few years, several schools in the city have hired foreign teachers from language centers with their own funds.

Schools have faced several obstacles including unqualified teachers, problems with expired work permits and controversial labor contracts.

Some schools had to change native English teachers from three to four times per year, leading to unstable teaching.

In other cases, some schools want to hire foreign teachers but they have failed as the schools lack recruitment experience. 

The department's plan is expected to help ensure teacher quality, their legal status and stable working conditions.

Vo Thi Ngoc Thu, head of Office for Education and Training in District 5 said the plan would provide major help to local schools, as it would especially increase student comprehension and speaking skills. These teachers would attend classes run by local teachers and take part in outdoor activities to share teaching experience.


Despite the ambition, HCM City has found it difficult to realise the plan due to financial issues.

The plan said schools had to call on parents to contribute to pay for foreign teachers and share half of the funding for the purchases of teaching facilities.

This means that each student would have to pay VND120,000 (USD5.75) per month for foreign teachers and from VND500,000-VND2 million (USD23.96-USD95.87) for equipment purchases.

Several principles said that it the plan would be more feasible with the funding from the municipal government as students from poor families could not afford such fees.

The parents of some students from better-off families are more worried about teacher quality than financial issues. Some have sent their children to language centers which charge VND70,000-VND80,000 (USD3.35-USD3.83) per month.

Pham Thi Thuy Ha, principle of Nguyen Van Troi Primary School in District 4 said over 400 students at the school are pursuing English study at language centers. In order to realize the plan, it was necessary to expand the numbers of targeted students.

Due to the modest number of students registering to study with Filipino teachers, some schools shared funding to hire a teacher to save expenses.

As a result, some schools have refused to join the plan. Some local offices for education and training which have signed contracts with foreign teachers are struggling to find classes.

100 Filipinos recruited to teach English in HCM City

 HCM City's education sector school system has hired 100 teachers from the Philippines to teach English at primary, secondary and high schools beginning in November, according to the city's Department of Education and Training.

Le Hong Son, head of the department, said the teachers, all of whom have university degrees in education, would also share their knowledge about effective teaching methodologies and supplemental activities with Vietnamese teachers of English.

The teachers will be paid VND40 million (US$2,000) per month and teach 35 class sessions per week.

The People's Committee initially had agreed to subsidies 50 per cent of the total costs to pay salaries, but on August 7 city leaders reversed that decision.

Instead, schools that want to hire the teachers should ask students' parents to contribute to the costs, the committee suggested.

Because of the limited number of Filipino teachers, schools that want to hire one or more of the teachers must register with the department, Son said.

The city's education department plans to hire more teachers if the plan proves successful.

The goal is to improve the English proficiency of students in primary, secondary and high schools.

Most high schools and universities in the Philippines offer instruction in English and use an American curriculum.


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